Mossberg 30-30 Levergun – Model 464 – Gun Review

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The classic lines of the Winchester 94 are clear in the updated and stronger Mossberg Model 464. It has some features from the Marlin 336 as well, including a round bolt and a smoother action than the 94.

The Mossberg 464 is made in America by Americans. See our exclusive pictures from the Mossberg factory.

Until the Hornady LeverEvolution ammo was released in 2007 the 30-30 with a tubular magazine was stranded in the past, forced to use flat or round pointed bullets for safety. NOTE: Make sure the lever is closed when you cartridges into the tubular magazine. Otherwise it is difficult and the feed ramp is not able to compress all the way to make room.

Ben and I shot hundreds of Hornady LeverEvolution rounds and handloads through this 464 with zero failures. It is really a well made high quality next generation 30-30.

Shooting a cold gun, the Mossberg 464 is capable of the same level of accuracy as the most accurate out of the box bolt rifles in its class. This 1″ group was standard for both the factory Hornady LeverEvolution and handloads using Hodgdon powder with the same Hornady bullets.

The 464 is drilled and tapped for the Weaver #403 base and the holes are filled with these filler screws when you get it. We had to swap that front base around for the proper spacing and eye relief on a standard size riflescope and the top port is partially covered, but it didn’t hamper proper ejection of fired cases.

The best sights for the Mossberg 464 are made by Kwik-Site, but make sure you call them about the proper screws. Even the regular mounts came with incorrect screws for this gun.

The front hole on the 464 is very shallow because it is only as thick as the steel sleeve over the barrel. The regular Kwik-Site mounts fit fine, but the See-Thru mounts have a recessed countersunk screw hole so they need very short screws.

The See-Thru mounts with a Leupold 4-12. This is the perfect New England combination working the powerlines where you might get a 300 yard shot and you more likely will get a 50 yard shot, and either of them might be a 5 second or less opportunity.

The rear notch and front blade of the Mossberg 464 fit nicely under the scope with the Kwik-Site See-Thru rings.

The lever safety on the 464 will take some getting used to. You have to put your hand deeply into the lever for it to naturally compress the safety, but once you are used to it, you are used to it.

Casual handloads using 35.5 grains of Hodgdon LeverEvolution powder produced slightly better velocity than the factory ammo and the same accuracy.
O.F. Mossberg & Sons – Model 464 Lever Action Rifle
http://www.mossberg.com/464

When most people think of the classic deer rifle, they think of the lever action 30-30. Very few avid gunners don’t have one, yet this is a gun that is not the most powerful, not the most accurate, not the most quick shooting, and not the most reliable. For all the new gun owners, shooters and hunters that have come into the gun world over the last few years, you just have to re-ask the question, “why on earth would I ever want a lever action 30-30?” Is it just sentimental value in an old time cartridge that keeps the 30-30 going, or is there something there?

Guns are different from most things except maybe cars and guitars in that they have an “aura” about them. You won’t often see a rich businessman driving a Honda CRX “tuner” to the office, and you certainly shouldn’t play Ozzy songs on a Fender Telecaster, not that you can’t. Likewise, a lot of people feel weird stomping around the woods with an AR-15. It isn’t that the AR isn’t capable of taking a deer, a hog, or a coyote. It just doesn’t feel right.

The same thing goes for a high-powered bolt gun. In the thick woods of New England, Pennsylvania and other popular hunting grounds, you can feel like you are overdoing it with a high powered rifle. Most shots are under 100 yards and you don’t need all that power for a deer. For many hunters, a lever action 30-30 is “just right,” and it makes you feel like rough and tumble cowboy, which is always cool for a gun guy.

That is why there are literally millions of 30-30s out there hunting this season, and one that has become very popular is the Mossberg 464. It is made in America by Americans, and we found it to be as accurate as most bolt guns for the first five shots in a cold gun. The point of balance on the 464 is right in the middle of the receiver, exactly where you want it to be for walking around the woods for hours, and right in the middle of a mounted normal length rifle scope, so it retains the balance. If you look at the 464, it looks like a Winchester Model 94, the most classic of all leverguns. But some of the features inside are much more like the Marlin 336, which is the other US made 30-30 still available today. The 464 is smoother than the 94, yet feels more like one than it does the Marlin.

Hornady revolutionized the 30-30 in 2007 with the introduction of their LeverEvolution ammunition. Prior to this, all traditional leverguns with tubular magazines had to use flat pointed bullets. Otherwise the tip of the bullet in the magazine would impact the primer of the round in front of it, setting it off inside the magazine and blowing a hole out of the side of your gun. LeverEvolution utilizes an aerodynamic spitzer type bullet with a polymer tip, so that they don’t set off the primer. They actually work, and since the more than 4 years that have passed since their introduction, the LeverEvolution ammo has taken over the market for 30-30 deer rifles.

If you are wondering why it matters so much to have an aerodynamic bullet design, think about throwing a tight spiral on the football shaped not like a football, but like a rectangular block. Sure, you could probably get it to spin, but it won’t have the natural axis that you find with the football shape. It also won’t go as far because it doesn’t cut as well through the air to reach its target. The same thing goes for bullets. Bullets have what is called a “Ballistic Coefficient,” or BC, and no I won’t bore you with the mechanics and the physics involved. They don’t matter because all of the ammo companies tell you what the measured BC for a given bullet is. The higher the BC number, the more efficiently the bullet travels through air, and the greater rotating force it has to keep it from developing a wabble. Heavier bullets have a higher BC because of their momentum, and aerodynamic bullets have a higher BC because they cut through the air better and have more of a natural axis.

Traditional 30-30 bullets are in the 150 grain range and have a BC of .186 or so. In comparison, the Hornady 160gr. FTX made for LeverEvolution has a BC of .330, and the new 140gr. MonoFlex has a BC of .277. That equates to much more retained velocity downrange, which means more overall retained energy, which means more thump downrange. The result is a bullet in the 30-30 that is more capable of accuracy and ballistics rivaling bolt guns. A better BC means better performance, and the plastic tipped LeverEvolution was a true rEvolution in leverguns.

Shooting the Mossberg 464

Mossberg introduced their Model 464 in 2008 to take advantage of the new capabilities of the Hornady LeverEvolution ammo, and as above, it is one of only two 30-30 leverguns left in the market, the other being the Marlin 336. Mossberg went for the reliability of the 94, with smoother function and strength of the Marlin. We shot this Mossberg 464 you see here in the pictures several hundred times, using both factory Hornady LeverEvolution and handloads , using Hodgdon LeverEvolution powder and the two Hornady bullets. After you get used to the way the gun works, I don’t believe you will ever experience a failure to fire. We didn’t.

Getting used to the gun does take a little patience. This is not a gun you want to shoot three times to sight it in then head out to the woods. It has a thumb safety located on the tang that you have to get used to flicking off, but thankfully it is smooth and easy both ways, and it doesn’t automatically engage when you cycle the lever. The thumb safety is backed up by a separate trigger safety connected to the lever. You have to have your hand in the lever loop compressing it in order to fire. At first this might seem a little frustrating, but once you learn to get a deep grip on the gun when you are ready to fire, it becomes second nature.

This safety advantage of what many consider the ultimate “brush gun” outweighs the usability quirk to me. Once you try it you will most likely feel the same way. How many times have you found your rifle action caught up in branch twigs as you dig your way into a particularly thick piece of woodland? This backup safety makes sure you have a good firing grip on the gun before it allows the gun to fire. A branch caught in your trigger guard won’t cause an accidental discharge if you forget to engage, or elect to not engage the tang safety.

Accuracy on lever guns is always tricky. The barrel band that holds on the wooden forearm doesn’t heat up and expand as quickly as the barrel, so it acts as a fulcrum when the barrel heats up. This can throw accuracy off by a lot in sustained fire as the barrel bends around the barrel band. But you don’t carry a levergun for sustained fire, or at least nobody has since the late 1800s. Generally you will be shooting a cold gun less than 5 times in a hunting situation and most ranch duties, so this is what we could consider a relevant accuracy test.

The Mossberg 464, cold, shoots into about an inch at 100 yards, translating to about 1 Minute of Angle, or MOA. I don’t know if this would prove out with the old blunt 30-30 bullets, but with Hornady LeverEvolution, whenever we let the gun cool off, the 1″ group would repeat itself. Ben Becker, our resident US Army Sniper, shot the 464 a great deal and was amazed that it matched some of the best bolt guns on the market. Once it heats up all bets are off, like any lever gun with a barrel band, but for those first crucial five shots the gun is right there where it needs to be to never let you down.

Handloads proved out the same way. Granted, we used the same Hornady 140gr. MonoFlex and 160gr. FTX that is in the LeverEvolution ammo, and we did use Hodgdon’s LeverEvolution powder, so we knew they wouldn’t be far off, but the handloads actually produced better velocity than the Hornady ammo, and the accuracy results were the same. Even though we are a Hornady shop and it may seem impartial, if you have something that works why deviate from it? Nobody cared about the fate of the levergun when Hornady introduced Lever Evolution, and it remains the only ammo worth considering for your levergun today.

Scope Mounts

The biggest issue I had with this gun was the scope mounts so I will include it to save you a potential headache. I unfortunately didn’t Google around before being told at Bass Pro that there was no mount listed for the Mossberg 464. On returning home I researched, and it is the Weaver #403 that fits this gun. You have to mount them both forward to get the proper eye relief on the scope, but they work. Better are the Kwik-Site mounts I found after buying the Weavers, and Kwik-Site even makes a see-thru mount for the 464. See-thru mounts allow you to see your open sights under the scope, so you can mount a 4 power or higher fixed power scope for long shots and use the open sights for anything under 50 yards or so. See-thru mounts are the ultimate brush gun companions.

Unfortunately, after ordering from Kwik-Site directly on the website, I ended up with the wrong screws in my package, but they do answer their phone, so if you order from them call in advance and make sure you get the right length screws for the 464. The front holes on the 464 are tapped into the steel over the back of the barrel and they are fairly shallow. As of this writing I haven’t gotten the correct screws for the see-thru mounts, but the regular mounts that are actually made for this gun are successfully mounted with the correct screws.

I should mention that the open sights on the Mossberg 464 are more than adequate for most shots in thick woods. The buckhorn rear is functional and the front blade is fitted with a brass bead that picks up very nicely. I prefer an optic on the gun, and if you want to take advantage of the 300 yard range of the LeverEvolution technology, don’t skimp on the scope.

Ballistics

The published velocities for all Hornady rifle ammo use a 24″ barrel. The Mossberg 464 has an 18″ barrel, and this makes you lose some velocity because some of the powder burns outside the barrel. Our actual measurement of velocity using the 160gr. LeverEvolution averaged 2270fps., close to the 2400fps. published. The 140gr. LeverEvolution produced 2380fps. and the published velocity is 2465fps. As measured, the 160gr. produces 1831 foot/pounds and the 140gr. produces 1756 foot/pounds of energy at the muzzle. That is equivalent to almost twice the punch of a .44 Magnum and more than 2/3rds the energy of a .30-06.

Our handloads were measured at 35.5 grains of Hodgdon LeverEvolution powder for both Hornady bullets. This gave us a little better results. The 160gr. FTX averaged 2375fps. and the 140gr. MonoFlex averaged 2475 as measured on our Pact Pro Chronograph. This may be an optimized load, and it is what is printed on the can of powder for the 160gr. FTX. Even though the 140gr. bullet was not listed on the can because it is new, we also used the 35.5gr. for it as well. PLEASE NOTE: We do not give reloading advice and you are responsible for your own loads.

When you look at the ballistic effects of a significantly higher BC, the downrange results tell an interesting story and are actually really amazing. We have yet to actually put a chronograph downrange to test these velocities (one of these days), but we have dialed scopes in correctly going from 100 to 300 yards and the BC has proven out. This means that when we dialed a scope in based on the ballistic calculator using the higher BC of the bullets, the bullets hit where they were should according to the numbers, indicating that the BC calculations from Hornady are valid.

If you look at this table, I used a constant velocity of 2400 fps. on all the bullets to keep it simple. All three bullets are only slightly off 2400fps. regardless. The calculations for the downrange ballistics are the two LeverEvolution bullets and the traditional Hornady 150gr. RN that has been popular in most 30-30 ammo over the years.

Name Picture Muzzle Velocity Energy at 100 yards 200 yards 300 yards
Hornady 140gr. MonoFlex 2400fps. 1370 ft/lbs. 1031 ft/lbs. 768 ft/lbs.
Hornady 150gr. RN 2400fps. 1280 ft/lbs. 827 ft/lbs. 536 ft/lbs.
Hornady 160gr. FTX 2400fps. 1635 ft/lbs. 1294 ft/lbs. 1012 ft/lbs.

As you can see, at 200 yards the flat-nosed 150gr. bullet has fallen in energy to about a .44 Magnum, whereas the 140gr. and especially the 160gr. have retained much more of their energy. By 300 yards both of the LeverEvolution bullets still have plenty on them, whereas the 150gr. has dropped to roughly a .357 Magnum, still capable of taking a deer or a hog with the right shot placement, but at that distance shot placement can be touch and go. Most shooters in the field will want as much advantage as they can get, if they are willing to even take such a shot with a 30-30.

The Handiest Gun in the World?

This week we also took a look at the Ruger Gunsite Scout, based on an idea from shooting legend Jeff Cooper. This design was supposedly based on the methodology of the original Winchester Model 94, often called the handiest gun ever made. This Mossberg 464 is a beefed up version of that gun, incorporating some of the advantages of the Marlin version as well. As a truck gun, as a brush gun for deer, hogs and coyotes, as a ranch gun for something to keep on your golf cart or ATV, the Mossberg 464 is extremely handy. It isn’t the best at anything, but it is pretty good at everything. And with Hornady LeverEvolution ammo and bullets, what was once a sacrifice in ballistics and accuracy is no longer a sacrifice. The 30-30 isn’t just a sentimental old caliber people love. It has evolved, and to many it is “just right.” The Mossberg 464 has also evolved the traditional 30-30 levergun, taking the best features and reliability from previous designs, and it is a gun made in America by Americans that you’ll be proud to own.

Exclusive Pictures from the Mossberg Factory

{ 53 comments }

{ 49 comments… add one }

  • mchl 13 November 30, 2011, 6:56 am

    Nice overview of an updated old school classic with modern ammunition. Many would say the 30-30 was just fine the it was, OK I agree, but an improvement of this magnitude can’t hurt and will probably insure this rounds viability for another century of exemplary service. I found the pictures of the bullets in the ballistic chart to be a really great addition to the article.

    Thank you,
    Mike

  • Ron November 30, 2011, 8:36 am

    These are just great all around lever guns and the fact is most people here in Tx hunt deer over feeders under 100 yrds.I shot my first deer at 9 with a 94.I have the 336 in my safe right now.It will shoot a 3/4 two shot groupe @ 100 yds with Remie core-lock 150 SP.The third shot will open up to 2 3/4 as the barrell heats up.It has a Bushnell 1.5 x 4.5 33mm with quick dis-connect rings so I can switch to open sights for brush hunting hogs.I never need more than one shot.I’ve been tell a friend of mind to buy the Mossburg tho for all the reasons you give in the review.It less money than the 336 also.

  • Jeff November 30, 2011, 9:10 am

    Why do we suddenly need a safety on lever rifles? Does the hunter need to walk around with the hammer cocked? Gun manufacturers are designing guns for reasons related to CYA as opposed to useability.
    Also, these see through mounts sound good on paper, but mine came loose during a hunt and were replaced with standard low mounts. The gun sounds interesting overall, but the unnecessary safety is a turn off for me.

  • Larry Campbell November 30, 2011, 9:22 am

    I have been wondering when or if this handy little rifle will ever be offered in other calibers, such as the .357 magnum or the .44 magnum.

    • Lopaka Kanaka November 30, 2011, 1:03 pm

      Hello Larry Campbell:
      Marlin already has 357 Mag, 44 Mag, on the market for you to purchase at will. I am still waiting for my Marlin 38/357 Mag that I am on a wait list. I have put my order with several FFL gun dealers to see who will call me first on my purchase. Alquist Arms in CA. Buds Gun Shop in Lexington, KY, Davison in Tucson, AZ, and Able Ammo. I was hoping to get my wish by Christmas but no Such Luck yet. Good hunting Larry Campbell on your 357 or 44 Mag rifle. Rossi has what you are looking for
      if you like guns by Taurus.

  • Michael Reckert November 30, 2011, 9:27 am

    I have recently acquired a model 94, and my understanding is that you have to get offset mounts for a scope based on the ejection of the spent brass. How does the 464 eject the spent brass? Is there any modifications or mounts that you know of for the model 94
    to be able to mount a scope other than the offset? Will the above described ammo have the same velocities for the Model 94 as is for the Mossberg 464?

    • Administrator November 30, 2011, 9:52 am

      It ejects from the top and works fine with the regular mounts.

  • Todd November 30, 2011, 9:55 am

    Good for Mossberg! Now let’s see a “Saddle Ring” once the the has paid for itself. This could be a great starter gun for Cowboy Action on the cheap. I was really happy to see the latest tech in 30-30 bullets give this caliber a kick start and now rifles like this will help justify the investment. OK Mossberg, where’s your Model 97 shotgun now so we can get that in domestic form as well?

    • John November 30, 2011, 5:28 pm

      It’s caliber would exclude it as a “Main Match Rife” for Cowboy Action Shooting (it would have to be in a “pistol” caliber and then get “approved” by the SASS) .

      What it does best is to fill the niche in “deer rifle” market left by the absence of the 94 Winchester.

      • Joseph S. November 30, 2011, 9:39 pm

        Oh, you can still get the Winchester 94,,but it will cost around $2400.00, not counting shipping. They are hard to come by, but this guy makes the exact replica to the rifle Chuck Conner’s used in The Rifleman. His rifle was a 44-40, Winchester 94. Go to the website,,,,”www.therifleman.net and you will find out. Pretty cool.

        • jack burton December 4, 2011, 9:49 am

          Actually I saw one the other day for $950. Not cheap, but it is a helluva lot nicer than the 94 my dad bought me in 1972. And Chuck Connors used a 92 not a 94. It was actually a 38-40 I think, but he was using 5 way Hollywood blanks.

  • Chris November 30, 2011, 10:24 am

    I am building up a Marlin with Kwik-Sites on a Ultralight Leupold and Williams Fire Sights. My father has the taller weaver see-throughs with a cheap simmons on his SS, but has never had a problem. Jeff, were these Kwik-Sites? How did the see through mounts come loose? Did the threads strip? Did you have any loctite on the thread? Was it installed with a torque screw driver?

    Thanks!

  • Paul November 30, 2011, 10:29 am

    I was set to purchase a 336C but all of the quality issues and now the manufacturing line shutdown has given me pause. I never considered a Mossberg. I would be inclined to buy one if it had a 20 inch barrell like the ’94 and 336.

    • Sam April 29, 2013, 10:52 am

      I have a 336 Marlin and I dont know what quality issues you are referring to. I have had two model 94,s , my 336 Marlin and I now own a 464, all in 30-30. My 336 is my #1 gun, and the 464 is a major inprovement over the 94,s. The 464 is really smooth levering ,with no side play and shoots great. I,ve hunted with alot of different calibars in bolt action but came back to the lever action ,they just fill better in my hands and their,re quite and simple. I hope Marlin isn,t having money problems, they are a great company.

  • Craig November 30, 2011, 11:29 am

    I MAY HAVE missed it but i did noy see a price

    • Administrator November 30, 2011, 12:39 pm

      I see them around between $400 and $500.

  • JohnV. November 30, 2011, 12:23 pm

    I have a older Marlin 336 in 35 remington, purchased the new ammo for it this year & love the gun over the others I have in my collection worth over twice as much!

  • George Cambanes November 30, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Haven’t you forgotten the other lever action, the Henry?

  • Rez Goodpace November 30, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Back at the turn of the century I figured things would get as bad as they have. Thinking in black powder terms and parts availability, the Win 94 seemed right. I had essentially lost interest in hunting & gun stuff, so the angle eject & cheap overall finish of rifle, surprised me. I acquired some shopworn Remington CoreLocts and did the sighting in just like article warns against. My experience was of a very accurate rifle, with the feel of the last one I’d carried 30 years earlier. Out of 5 shots I got one “light tap” on primer. A local ‘smith told me he would need to shorten the firing pin spring, and friends commented on poor quality of primers in factory ammo. So now the weapon sits in a rented locker, unused, because I don’t trust a firearm that doesn’t go “bang” every time I pull the trigger. I’d like to hear feedback from others about the 464 & competitors as to reliability of weapon and ammo. ~~~~Thanks, REZ

    • jeff December 3, 2011, 8:40 am

      One comment I can give you is you may need to find a new Gunsmith…the Mossberg 464 centerfire rifle ie 30.30 does not use a firing pin spring. It is exactly like the M-1 carbine in this respect. The firing pin is free floating inside the bolt body. The rifles exibit outstanding accuracy and don’t buy all the negative comments before you try one yourself. Standard ammo like Remington and Winchester are fine, 1 1/2 to 2″ at 100 yds. first shot or three or so, after that, barrel heating is a problem like with most rifles…especially lever guns because of barrel bands etc. Take care IMO…. jeff

    • jack burton December 4, 2011, 9:59 am

      Whoever you talked to is not a gunsmith. The problem you describe I have fixed for dozens of people. Clean the bolt. Usually, in new guns, it is storage lube on the firing pin, and since there is a whole generation that does not know how to clean a new gun, I get to make $20 from my friends, and $25 from others to make them work. I put two hundred rounds through a 464 without a hitch. The owner was complaining about the same problem. His wife shot a very nice mulie with it a month a half ago.
      If you want to part with the gun that does not work, I will give you a hundred bucks for it.

  • ol shooter November 30, 2011, 1:15 pm

    A nicely written and presented article. Good to see Mossberg still in the game after Winchesters demise.

  • Lopaka Kanaka November 30, 2011, 1:22 pm

    My 336W Marlin 30-30 is one fine rifle for deer hunting in my woods and its get in my very thick pine and fir trees with lots of thick bush here in the foothills of the Sierras in CA with one shoot deer kills. The Hornady 160gr FTX is the only ammo I shoot out of my rifle for all deers, boars, Mt Lion, bears and ? This is the best ammo that Hornady ever made for level action rifles. It has changed what I used in the pass for my hunting since I started back in the 1970′s. I do not like the empty brass ejecting out of the top of the receiver with other MFG of level action rifles. Rossi has copied Marlin with the side ejection and removal of the bolt to clean the the rifle from the breach of the rifle. Very, Very easy to clean like my 1911 A-1 45 AP Springfield. The 30-30 lever action will be around another 100 years until MFG build a better rifle?

  • Mike Smith November 30, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Just wanted to point out one error you made. You stated that the Mossberg and the Marlins are the only US owned and US made lever guns left. You forgot about the Henry Rifle Company. 100 percent American made. They are the high dollar lever actions and probably the most accurate. Give them a review. Mossberg made a 30-30 about 35 years ago. It was side eject plus the trigger assembly was attached to the lever letting it move with the lever.

    • Micah February 9, 2014, 6:09 am

      The henry is nice and it better beat twice the price. Not really anymore accurate though. Nice finish, to nice to take into brush or up a mountain. That is ok because it weighs 30% more and has no strap mounts and in the case of the Brass receiver no good place to mount a scope, without buba’ing up a beautiful gun. Also ok since you load the dang thing like a .22 and would probably go home early after carrying it all day. It looks better than the others hanging on the wall though.

  • Jack November 30, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I have Winchester 30-30 with see through mounts and never had problem with brass ejection.love it.Bought it for the name and simplicity of the gun years ago. But ones you try Marlin, there is a big diference. Day and night. Just for one ,Marlin loading,especialy in the field,with haewy gloves goes smooth,while Winchester even without gloves can not compare. Dont get me wrong I love my little gun,but just hope that Mossberg picked up the best of all and not just another lever gun.

  • Tomk DeCastro November 30, 2011, 4:52 pm

    The 464 is a great little gun, but I’d like to see it in .35 Rem. I know Marlin offers one but not with a stright stock. Any chance that the Mossberg folks will put out the 464 in .35?

  • Edward Clay November 30, 2011, 8:36 pm

    I want to know where i can purchase this firearm

  • Bob H December 1, 2011, 1:19 pm

    I was set to purchase a 336C but all of the quality issues and now the manufacturing line shutdown has given me pause. I never considered a Mossberg. I would be inclined to buy one if it had a 20 inch barrell like the ’94 and 336.

    The 464 does have a 20 inch barrel in 30-30!

  • Mike Steward December 2, 2011, 11:51 am

    I was impressed regarding the new 464: I have been a fan of lever guns for over 50 yrs, especially the Winchester models 1873, 71,1886,1892, and 1894, as they become smooth as glass when the action is worked in. Marlins always seem to have a “gritty” feel. As a fan of tang sights, that cannot be mounted with an attorney designed tang safety, which is like suspenders with a belt. While a tang safety is helpful with a scope, which tends to lessen the thumb clearance, when lowering the exposed hammer it is unnecessary in most cases. I had the embarrassing experience with my scoped Browning 71, High wall 45-70 single shot. When I dropped the hammer, due to cold fingers and lack of clearance for the short hammer spur. Only years of developed safe muzzle control, pointing the gun at the ground, prevented an accident. While I have not seen a Mossberg, it seems like a good contender for Mr. Browning’s 1894.

  • Jerry Bair December 3, 2011, 1:22 am

    I agree with most of the authors writings except for the “see through” mounts. These mounts are not good for anything, any true gun person would never recomend them! The see through part is restrictive and gives you a tunnel vision effect when using iron sights and then the scope is mounted way too high for any kind of cheek weld on the stock.
    Do yourself a favor and mount a good low power variable to the gun and be done with it. If you feel you must have iron sights then buy a rifle with the iron sights and leave it alone!

    The only other thing not to like on this rifle is the stock wood. This is the blandest stuff I have seen for awile, absolutely no grain and a finish that makes it look like it is more suited for a boat ore, than rifle stocks. Even plain straight grained walnut is much warmer and more beautiful to look at and admire, can it really cost that much more?

  • Scott December 4, 2011, 9:38 am

    I’m happy to see more 30/30 guns on the market, now more replica style guns in 30/30 would be nice, cresent butt plate, case hardend, ect. I hunt with a Marlin from the mid 60′s with the lever evolution bullets and love it! I use a shotgun scope 1.5-5 power that works well for me but would also like a seperate replica style with iron sights for stalking.

  • Rob Hummer December 4, 2011, 5:04 pm

    I am not sure of this rifle will ever be as popular as the Marlin 336′s even with all the problems they have been having after Remington purchased th brand.

    Now if Mossberg were to produce these rifles in a handgun chambering such as .357 Mag, .44 Mag, etc *AND* price them to compete with the Marlin’s and Rossi’s of the world then I think there would be a winner.

  • KYLE December 5, 2011, 10:51 am

    I like the dual sites, rifles with scopes tend to get bumped in the brush.

  • Frank G in Tennessee December 5, 2011, 6:30 pm

    Great article and timely ……….
    Early fall when Cabela’s 50 anniversary addition catalog was received the 30-30 lever action caught my eye. Always wanted “The” classic white tail rifle.
    It features a Cabela’s-exclusive gray-laminate stock and Mossberg’s rust-resistant Marinecote finish. This is one sharp looking rifle, everyone that has seen it agrees. I wanted to go vintage old school, open sights with a 6 shooter strapped to my hip. Well a 5 shooter, S&W 460 XVR.
    The following observations have no reflection on Cabela’s quality or their professional online staff; it was shipped promptly to my local dealer with timely updates via phone and EM. Hornady Lever Evolution 160 gr FTX cartridges chosen. Hornady rounds are my go too for all applications.
    Mossberg needs to review their in house QC/QA procedures with this model! As a recently retired senior manufacturing/tool die automation engineer, the “what you can’t see” leaves much to be desired. It appears the assembly group just “slapped” these units together to fill production orders and get out the door. If this weapon had be inspected it should have been sent directly back to assembly. Although the outside fit and finish seemed appealing and well thought out, great balance left or right handed the action, on the other hand, was/is rather rough. As received not a hint of even basic lubrication, the action was bone dry. Forget loading the tube with gloved hands; the feed ramp spring action is way to stiff and required adjusting. The ramp would hang up due to misalignment with mainframe housing. The machined edges were sharp and need a slight radius, the cartridge would hang up to the point where you would need a tool of some sort (I used a wooden chop stick) to push the case down to seat. No way to use your finger or the next round with the polymer tip. A visual inspection of the action components revealed no evidence of simple edge deburing or tumbling. A bit of jewelers file work and through cleaning then lubricating with Outers helped smoothen the action quite a bit. Deciding to hunt open sights lets get a feel for this little jewel. Our base practice range is a 60-yard set; I was lucky to punch paper! A laser bore dropped in and ranged at 30 yards. Another QC/QA issue, the sight alignment was “horrid” yes I would expect a slight “twink” but the elevation need to be lowered as far as it would go AND windage adjusted all the way to the left, just touching the windage stop. A basic go/no gage would help manage this issue. Replacing the front sight “pin” with a high Vis helped immensely with rapid alignment; they just blended together silver on silver. Try again 10, rounds 1” high at 60, all within the take down area out to a 100. Good to go lets put it to use. First day out nice doe at 55 yards. The pros: The triple redundant safety is a bit odd to get accustomed to but well designed. Now a few of you will cringe with this statement; hunting single action revolvers and muzzle loader, I’m accustomed to cocking the hammer any way so “I leave the slide safety hot” when stocking. The lever action safety is a good feature; you would naturally draw it up when setting to trigger. When decocking that’s the “got to remember” aspect. Good training for the new hunter, get to know all aspects of your firearm by touch, eventually you will be setting up or taking down in the dark. Summary: It is a fantastic appearing weapon. For the price range definitely a worthwhile purchase. You won’t find a Rolex for +/- $500. either. Good quality optics on raised rings would be another quality add. Later in the season my plan is to do just that. If your hunt is brush, thick timber and an occasional “long” shot this the 646 “IS” the way to go.

    • Frank G in Tennessee December 15, 2011, 9:37 am

      Follow up ……………….. Second time out: 86 yards open sights, healthy 3×4. Can’t seem to find a way to post image here. This is the only “long gun” I have in the safe, will add optics just for a try. Although open sights are a blast. Great gun for the money, you can’t beat the classic look or quality.

  • G. C. Ledyard,Jr. December 13, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Sirs,
    I understand you have for sale a Belgium, 3 inch 12 guage Browning magnum, round knob, long tang, O.U. I am unable to get the information on my computer. Will you please E mail it to me, Thank you, Ledyard

  • Thomas J. Jefferys January 4, 2012, 5:50 pm

    I read the entire article. I don’t really another need brush gun because I have a Marlin 336C in .35 caliber with Kwik-Site see-thru scope mount and 3-9x40mm Bushman Scope. I used to aim 12 inches high for 150 yard shots, but can now reduce the bullet drop with the new Hornandy Ammo. I have two grandsons 10 & 14. Last Christmas we bought them each a Fishing Kayak, which ran us close to $2,000.00. I’m going to buy your brush gun because it is “American Made” and both boys will have similar firearms.

    • Jon July 31, 2012, 1:11 pm

      Thomas,
      It sounds like you have your rifle sighted in under 100 yds. Instead of having to hold over 12″!! at a mere 150 yards, why not sight your rifle in to hit at 150 or 200 yards so that point of aim=point of impact? That would NOT mean holding 12″ under at closer ranges. A lever gun with a 200 yard zero should be perhaps 4″ high at the most all the way out to 200 yards, and then you could hold over as described for a 250 yard shot.

      Run the numbers in a ballistic computer, but if you have a 75 or a 100 yard zero you really are unnecessarily hamstringing yourself with even moderately long shots.

      Good luck,
      Jon

  • JERRY GENOVESE January 17, 2012, 5:28 pm

    I JUST BOUGHT THE 464 AND PUT THE CUSTOM WALNUT PISTOL STOCKS AND A SCOPE AND I LOVE IT, LOVE IT LOVE IT. THIS WRITE -UP ON THE 464 IS WITHOUT QUESTION THE BEST I HAVE EVER READ. RIGHT TO THE POINT, TREMENDOUSLY INFORMATIVE, AND WRITTEN THE WAY AN AVERAGE HUNTER CAN UNDERSTAND. MY COMPLIMENTS TO THE WRITER. NOW I LOVE IT EVEN MORE, AND FEEL A LOT BETTER ABOUT TAKING A CHANCE ON WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED A “NEW” GUN BY THE MANUFACTURER. I CANNOT FIND A SINGLE FLAW IN THE BLUEING, THE STOCK, OR THE WOOD TO METAL FIT, IT’S PERFECT.

  • Nick February 15, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I bought a 464 last September. I got the standard Kwik-Site mounts and rings two months ago. I started loading the Hornady FTX bullets last month. I just picked up a lb. of the LeverEvolution powder two days ago. Today, I find this article. Good article. Spooky that the author picked all the same stuff that I did. Anyway, the rifle shoots well. The function and accuracy are really quite good for a $369 lever gun.

    • Administrator February 15, 2012, 5:52 pm

      Clearly you are a man of refinement and class.

  • DOUG March 26, 2012, 10:05 pm

    The article seems to give the impression that the Marlin 336 & Mossberg 464 are the only leverguns in .30-30 WCF in production today……that is false though they could very well be the only “Made in the USA” .30-30 leverguns being manufactured today.
    Rossi (Braztech) makes an excellent rifle called the Rio Grande in .30-30. The Rio is made in Brazil.
    The Rio Grande .30-30 is very slick cycling & accurate.
    I have owned Winchester 94s & Marlin 336s & my Rio is smoother than either. I can cycle the action with my baby finger only touching the finger lever.

  • zombieeealakgbl joe May 11, 2012, 6:42 am

    hi, ia m a zombie, i wannt to have zomie lever stypele for this….ahawwwwa bite you…a.akeja;lkajfa;fd

  • scott July 11, 2012, 3:59 pm

    I understand the 464 will be issued in a handgun caliber after the first of the year. They had a poll on their website to what caliber people would like the best. I heard 44 mag won out, we’ll see..

    • Administrator July 11, 2012, 10:00 pm

      Oh cool.

  • Dave Goodrode November 23, 2012, 11:43 pm

    I had purchased one of the last Winchester Model 94′s made. Thinking it would be some history to pass on to my son. Well it was a piece of junk. Couldn’t even mount a scope to it because once the mounts were screwed down to the receiver the scope wouldn’t sit square on the mounts. Sad end to a once grand weapon. The 464 had just come out and I went down looked at it, and bought it. The fit, finish and quality are just great. The scope fit perfect. The accuracy is outstanding, the action is smooth and solid when closed. Best thing is made in America by Americans, and a damn fine job, thanks Mossberg.

  • Sarg March 10, 2013, 8:12 am

    In 66 while stationed outside of St. Louis, I bought a Model 94 in 32 Win. Sp. cal. and used the gun both in the MO. wood’s and then 3 year’s in So. FL. swamps where the deer are small. Shot good, easy to carry, looked good but the whole action was sloppy and always felt loose until the lever was fully pulled up into shooting position. In 72 I sold the gun to a guy who just had to have it and bought a Model 336 in 35 Rem. Great gun from what at that time was a great company. Twelve year’s ago I retired to the Branson area of MO. Still have the Model 336 and then one day last November stopped in a gun shop and spotted the Mossberg 464. After handling it, admiring the wood (very nice graining) and working the action (no slop in it) it reminded me of the Model 94 I had in the 60′s and I wanted it. Out the door for $400.00. Couldn’t wait until I hit the range later the same day with a box of Rem 150 gr. Right out of the box at 50 yd’s it made a soda can dance with 6 out of 6 shot’s. At 100 yd’s right on the paper with only a slight sight adjustment. Finished off the box, talked to a couple of new admirer’s of it while I let it cool down and headed home to the work bench for a complete cleaning. Action tight and smooth, easy to get the bolt out and easy to clean. My new most favorite rifle now for the wood’s. Great gun, coupled with the Hornady 160 gr. it will only get greater.
    As the man said earlier. Thank you Mossberg. Made in America & God Bless The U.S.A.

  • Richie Beard April 14, 2014, 12:05 am

    I bought a Winchester 94 in the early 80’s and my friend and hunting partner bought a Marlin 336 shortly after. I immediately noticed how wonderfully tight the action of the 336 was in comparison to the sloppy action of my 94. I mounted a 3×9 scope w/ Kwik Site rings and had no issues. My 94 shot and worked just fine, I only shot it at 100 yards targets and it grouped just fine for deer hunting. My 94 was stolen a few years later and was never recovered, but I learned a valuable lesson through this experience concerning my scoped Model 94 – 30/30. My personal opinion 30 plus years, thousands of rounds and tens of firearms later is that a “lever 30/30” is a “quick reflex brush gun” or a “truck gun” period, and a ghost ring sight is how I plan to outfit the next lever 30/30 that I purchase after I decide either Mossberg 464 or Marlin 336. As far as the newly designed ammo, in my mind it just makes the lever 30/30 a more effective brush/truck gun, I already have a long range big game rifle.

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